Members of the local business community and beyond packed the Hotel RL Olympia ballroom for the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 State of the Community Address on January 10, 2018. The annual forum allows constituents of our community to hear from elected officials about the past year as well as their goals for the upcoming year. Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby, Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder, Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet, Yelm Mayor JW Foster and Thurston County Commissioner Bud Blake each addressed the current state of their respective communities, followed by questions from the audience.
Attendees networked with Chamber members, guests and local business table sponsors for the beginning portion of the event. Chair of the Chamber, Joanna West (Washington Business Bank), kicked off the main program by welcoming the room and sharing current events Chamber such as the upcoming A Night on the Town. Joanna then introduced Kristina Hoffman (Puget Sound Energy) who spoke updates from Puget Sound Energy and their goals in reducing our carbon footprint.
President and CEO of the Chamber David Schaffert presented more on the economic state of Thurston County. Following David Mike Marohn served as the moderator of the panel including Mayor Shelby, Mayor Ryder, Mayor Kmet, Mayor Foster and Commissioner Blake.
Focus points for all areas included traffic and transportation issues in multiple jurisdictions, housing affordability and homelessness, increased population from new residents, and job growth. Each mayor also highlighted ideas and goals to address these pressing issues, leaving the room hopeful and eager to continuing working together at developing the economy and strength of our community.